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The Israel Test, by George Gilder

- Abstract

It wasn’t the author’s intention, to be sure, but George Gilder’s new book, The Israel Test, may infect some Jewish readers with a bad case of WASP envy: only a Protestant patrician with no hint of Hebraic background would dare to write so positively about Israel and the Jews. To those who seek to explain murderous hostility to Israel with reference to its supposed policy failures or purportedly harsh treatment of Palestinians, Gilder elegantly responds: “Locked in a debate over Israel’s alleged vices, they miss the salient truth running through the long history of anti-Semitism: Israel is hated above all for its virtues.”

Chief among those virtues, in Gilder’s frankly philo-Semitic view, are Jewish intelligence, creativity, entrepreneurial energy, and economic productivity, all of which are widely condemned as disproportionate and therefore inherently unjust. In this respect, hostility to Israel bears an unmistakable and significant connection to worldwide hostility toward capitalism.

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